Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Question from Orla - Possible portrait of Henry Brandon Earl of Lincoln

I was recently looking up info on Mary Tudor Brandon's son Henry Brandon Earl of Lincoln, the second one who was meant to marry Katherine Willoughby but his father did. Anyway I came across a website that said her son has a portrait. It's the one that has been identified as Edward VI by Hans Holbein the one with the boy holding the monkey. It stated that recent scholars have now identified it as young Henry Brandon. I did always think it was odd that a boy that close to the throne and a nephew of Henry VIII by his favourite sister, didn't have a portrait. But I was wondering if anyone came across this also and if they knew who these scholars are or if it's written in a book. The website had no source.


Kathy said...

I'm intrigued. I'm going to have to go back and look at that portrait more carefully. Orla, could you give us the addy of the website? I'd like to look into that more, even if they have no links. The only image I've run across that has been identified as Henry Brandon is a sculpture at <a href="http://www.wingfieldcollege.com/history.htm'>Wingfield College</a> (It's the picture next to the one of Mary Tudor and Charles Brandon.) That image does not look unlike the picture of Edward VI with the monkey -- though, obviously, that is a very dubious means of identification.

Henry Brandon is very elusive. He died in March, 1534, at Suffolk Place, just south of London, and we have absolutely no record of where he is buried. Because of his closeness to the throne, that's always struck me as very odd.

Kathy said...

Hmmm...my link to Wingfield College didn't post properly. I'll try it again:

Wingfield College.

Katie said...

The only thing I found on the net was this one:


I already asked lisby who posted the monkey picture saying it was Henry Brandon, where she got her information from. I will post her answer if she writes back.
I can't imagine how scholars can surely identify such a picture. That is quite interesting!

Kathy said...

Thanks, Katie. I checked that out. I have no idea who lisby is, but a lot of his/her information is very dubious. The sculptured relief is at Wingfield College that I posted the link to, not at Henry's tomb in Bury St. Edmund. We have no idea where Henry is buried. Wherever it is, that sculpture isn't part of his tomb. Also lisby posted a tomb effigy saying it is the only indisputable image of Frances Brandon. It's not. I have no idea where that effigy is from, but it's not on her tomb in Westminster Abbey. I don't think I would believe anything lisby says without collaborating evidence.

BTW, the more I look at the "monkey" picture, the more it looks to me like Charles' son with Katherine Willoughby, who was also named Henry Brandon.

Orla said...

Yeah I got it from Flickr, but as I said it had no sources. I didn't want to go around saying it was Henry Brandon without knowing if it really was. Very interesting, as the King's only nephew (in England) you'd think there would be a portrait of him. The portrait has been a bit conflicted some historians say it was Henry Fitzroy while others say its Edward VI.

Katie said...

Kathy, that was my first thought of that picture - this could be Henry Brandon, son of Katherine and Charles.
Yes, some of her information is not correct indeed.
Nevertheless I'm curious what sources she used IF she used any at all. But as I have not found anything in books or the internet I think it is just some sort of rumour.

Orla, I also wonder why there is no portrait of Henry and why we have no information on where he is buried - he was close to the throne!

Katie said...

Hi everybody,

lisby replied to my question, this is what she wrote:
"Hi, I have to find the reference book this is from. Things are pretty mad right now but as soon as I have a chance, I'll take a look. I'm pretty sure it was a book on Holbein by Roy Strong of the National Portrait Gallery."

Anyone ever heard of Roy Strong?

Tracey said...

Katie...yes, I have a wonderful reference book by Roy Strong.

It's a massive volume titled "Coronation- A History of Kingship and the British Monarchy". Every tiny bit of information anybody could ever want to know about the British coronation process...how it all began, customs which have changed through the years, what was worn or carried during various monarch crownings.

'Course, this particular book doesn't concern the Earl of Lincoln :)

Marilyn R said...

Hi Katie

Art historian Sir Roy Strong became the youngest ever director of the NPG at only 32 and then went on to become the youngest director of the Victoria and Albert Museum. His work did an awful lot to make them the great and popular institutions they are today. He's retired now & a bit of a national treasure.

Katie said...

Thanks Tracy! Sounds like a good book.
Marilyn, thanks for the info. I think I'm going to check why Roy Strong is so sure that the "monkey" picture shows Henry Brandon and not Edward VI. Hope I will find his book in my library...

Anonymous said...

Why is the painting in Switzerland?

Lara said...

Here's part of what the catalogue for the "Holbein in England" exhibition from 2006 has for the drawing, just FYI.

It was written by Susan Foister, Director of Collections and Curator of Early Netherlandish, German and British Paintings at the National Gallery.

A Boy with a Marmoset c. 1532-6

The boy is wearing courtly dress and is stroking a pet marmoset. He is not Edward Prince of Wales, as has sometimes been suggested, but is dress bears some resemblance to a drawing said to represent Henry VIII as a child (now in the Bibliotheque de Mejanes, Aix-en-Provence). It is conceivable that he did not belong to the English court, and that he was a visitor to it or was even portrayed during Holbein's travels.